As part of our dedication to delivering the best group tour experiences, we routinely send our staff members on various trips or out into the destination to show some love. Whether it’s a new staff member getting to experience the magic (and all the behind the scenes work!) of a student group tour in DC for the first time, a veteran staff member guiding for one of their long-term groups, or a chance for adventure further afield, we love traveling with our groups!
Recently, our Executive Vice President, Steve Maehl, traveled with two large groups to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt to provide logistic support.
You’ve traveled a lot, but have you been to Israel before? What set this trip apart?
I have been to Israel 3 other times but never with a group this large. With over 100 travelers in Israel at once there are a lot of moving pieces and it was fun to see it all come together.
Can you tell us more about this group?
One of our groups was adult travelers from Oklahoma and a number of other states, and another group was a high school from Missouri.
From your observations, what was the most impactful part of the trip?
We had some incredible guides that really brought the trip to life. From a historical and religious perspective, we learned so much that it was hard to keep track of it all. Everyone came away with a deeper understanding of the significant events that have occurred in that part of the world throughout history.
Was there anything that surprised you?
When I am in Israel I am always surprised/impressed with how everyone gets along so well together there, despite different religious and ethnic backgrounds. Some travelers express concern over safety before traveling to these areas and our groups never had any security concerns. Everyone there is incredibly welcoming.
Why should people visit Israel, Jordan, Petra, and Egypt?
It truly is an unforgettable experience unlike anything else you can get anywhere else in the world. Whether a school group, church group, or any other affinity, traveling to any of these areas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave travelers in awe of both the physical beauty and the immense historical significance.